10 Differences Between impact and non impact printer

Impact Printer vs Non-Impact Printer: Understanding the Differences

Are you curious about the differences between impact and non-impact printers? In this article, we will delve into the world of printing technology and explore the distinctive features of these two printer types. From their definitions to examples, uses, and a detailed table highlighting their dissimilarities, we will leave no stone unturned. So, let’s dive in and uncover the contrast between impact and non-impact printers.

What is an Impact Printer?

An impact printer is a type of printer that produces text or images by striking a print head against an ink ribbon. This physical impact transfers ink onto the printing surface, usually paper, creating the desired output. Impact printers are known for their reliability and durability, making them suitable for specific applications.

Examples of Impact Printers

1. Dot Matrix Printers
2. Daisy Wheel Printers
3. Line Printers
4. Drum Printers
5. Chain Printers

Uses of Impact Printers

– Printing multipart forms, such as invoices and purchase orders
– Creating high-quality carbon copies
– Reliable and long-lasting printing in harsh environments, such as factories or warehouses
– Continuous printing of large volumes
– Suitable for printing on a variety of stationery, including envelopes and labels

What is a Non-Impact Printer?

A non-impact printer, in contrast to its counterpart, does not physically strike the printing surface. Instead, it utilizes various technologies, such as laser or inkjet, to create images or text. Non-impact printers offer higher quality and can produce color prints, making them more versatile and widely used in different settings.

Examples of Non-Impact Printers

1. Laser Printers
2. Inkjet Printers
3. Thermal Printers
4. Dye-Sublimation Printers
5. Solid Ink Printers

Uses of Non-Impact Printers

– High-quality printing of text and images in various colors
– Printing professional documents, such as reports or presentations
– Producing photo prints with exceptional detail and vibrancy
– Versatile for printing on different media, including glossy paper, transparencies, and fabrics
– Suitable for personal or office use with lower noise levels

Differences Between Impact and Non-Impact Printers

Difference Area Impact Printer Non-Impact Printer
Printing Technology Mechanical striking Laser, inkjet, or thermal technology
Noise Produces loud noise Operates quietly
Print Quality Relatively lower resolution Higher resolution and color options
Speed Slower printing speed Faster printing speed
Cost Lower upfront cost Higher upfront cost
Reliability Highly reliable Less reliable in comparison
Impact on Environment Produces carbon copies and impact on environment More environmentally friendly
Printing Surface Capable of printing on multipart forms, thicker paper Can print on various media including glossy paper and fabrics
Application Area Commonly used in industrial and business settings Widely used in personal, office, and commercial setups
Longevity Known for their durability and longevity May require more frequent maintenance


Impact and non-impact printers may serve different purposes, depending on the specific printing requirements. While impact printers offer reliability and endurance, non-impact printers provide high-quality prints and versatility. The choice between them depends on factors such as printing needs, environment, and budget.

People Also Ask

Q: Are impact printers still used?
A: Yes, impact printers are still used in specific industries that require multipart forms and durability.

Q: Which printer type is better for photos?
A: Non-impact printers, especially inkjet and dye-sublimation printers, offer excellent photo printing quality.

Q: Can I print on glossy paper using an impact printer?
A: Impact printers are not suitable for printing on glossy paper as they utilize striking mechanisms that could damage the surface.

Q: Are non-impact printers more expensive?
A: Non-impact printers generally have higher upfront costs due to advanced technology and print quality.

Q: Can impact printers produce color prints?
A: Most impact printers are monochromatic and can only produce prints in black or one other color, if equipped with a color ribbon.

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